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Used car market in good health with more than two million sales in second quarter

Time 9:36 am, August 15, 2018

BRITAIN’S used car market held strong in 2018’s second quarter, with sales down by a marginal 0.4 per cent, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A total of 2,093,429 vehicles changed hands, just 8,725 fewer than the same three months in 2017.

Superminis remained the most popular segment, despite a 2.6 per cent decline. They accounted for a third of the market (32.6 per cent) and were followed by small and medium-sized family cars.


SUVs and executive models experienced the biggest growth, with demand up 10.7 per cent and 3.9 per cent respectively.

The popularity of diesel cars grew 3.2 per cent, with some 868,573 used buyers driving one home in the period, while transactions involving petrol-powered vehicles fell by 3.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, demand for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles grew by more than a quarter, with some 26,832 changing hands – 5,417 more than a year ago.

Elsewhere, trends closely followed the new car market, with black the UK’s most popular used car colour for a second consecutive quarter and silver and blue taking second and third places. Demand for white cars grew fastest, up 9.8 per cent, followed by orange, up 9.1 per cent.


Meanwhile, green and maroon lost most favour among buyers, falling 14.6 per cent and 9.6 per cent respectively.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘It’s great to see the used car sector remain in robust health as motorists take advantage of the exciting high-tech models filtering down from the new sector – including some of the latest low-emission diesel and alternatively-fuelled vehicles.

‘However, with used sales so closely reflecting the new car market, some cooling is expected over the coming months. Given fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality and reduce CO2, we need greater business and consumer confidence to keep both markets moving.’

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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